Improving Primary Enrollment Rates among the Poor

Publication | August 2006
Improving Primary Enrollment Rates among the Poor

This policy brief discusses evidence for policy making within the context of attaining the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) of universal primary enrollment. Despite recent progress, many developing member countries (DMCs) will not attain this goal by 2015. Unsurprisingly, some of the biggest enrollment deficiencies within countries occur at the bottom end of the income distribution. Empirical evidence indicates that children from poorer families are on average almost three times more likely to be out of school versus those from richer families (UNESCO 2005). What this implies is that universal primary enrollment cannot - and will not - be attained without an explicit focus on inclusiveness. In addition, for many DMCs, there are serious concerns regarding the quality of basic education.


  • Introduction
  • Identifying Problems and Looking for Solutions: An Analytical Framework
  • Measurement for Management
  • Supply-side Determinants of Primary Enrollment Inequalities
  • Demand-side Determinants of Primary Enrollment
  • Conclusions
  • References